Cotton is what makes up most of the clothes you have in your closet and it's no accident. The fabric has been the textile of choice for hundreds of years because of its softness, breathability, and versatility. Unfortunately, it is not the most sustainable fabric.
Cotton earned the title “dirtiest crop” because it’s sprayed with some of the worst pesticides. Those and other toxic chemicals associated with cotton production pollute waterways and damage the health of farmworkers. They also contaminate consumer products.
This might come as a bit concerning to you but there's a way for you to still enjoy those wonderful tees while still being responsible for the environment.
It's to go organic.
What is Organic Cotton?
While all cotton is grown and tended on fields, not all cotton are treated the same.
Organic cotton is cotton that is produced and certified to organic agricultural standards. Its production sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people by using natural processes rather than artificial inputs. Importantly organic cotton farming does not allow the use of toxic chemicals or GM seeds (genetically modified) to promote and enhance biodiversity and biological cycles.
Why should I choose Organic Cotton?
Conventional cotton yield has increased over the past three decades, but these yield gains have come at a high cost. For instance, cotton is notorious for being one of the world’s most chemically intensive crops. For instance, conventional cotton production utilizes the herbicide, glyphosate, which has been categorized as a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization.
Furthermore, there are differences in managing conventional cotton vs organic cotton. Existing science reveals that organic cotton outperforms conventional cotton when it comes to climate change mitigation. A life cycle analysis for organic cotton found that energy demand was 62% lower than that of conventional cotton and that the total global warming potential of organic cotton was 46% lower than that of conventional cotton.
It also takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for a pair of jeans. In fact, the water needs of cotton are so high that cotton production has contributed to the draining of the Aral Sea in Central Asia.
Organic cotton has a much lower environmental footprint. Production of organic cotton takes 71 percent less water and 62 percent less energy than production of conventional GMO cotton.
Organic farming also contributes to climate change mitigation by sequestering carbon in the soil.
Is choosing organic cotton really make a difference?
Absolutely. Did you know that conventional cotton used for clothing and textiles is usually combined with synthetic fabrics such as acrylic, fleece and polyester? Research shows that during washing, these synthetic fibers are released into our waterways, in the form of microfibres.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that around 1.7 million tons of microfibres enter the ocean each year, threatening marine species and sensitive coral reef ecosystems.
There are many more reasons as to why you should check the tag of the t-shirt you're wearing. Preferably 100% organic cotton is the ethical choice. And it's a good thing that Stedman Collection uses 100% OCS-certified organic ring-spun cotton.
It's the same fashionable and absolutely soft fabric, only environmentally friendlier.
So make a contribution now to save the planet. Buy t-shirts made of organic cotton. It matters.